Dusky Moorhens building nest

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Dusky Moorhens building nest
From: "Andrew Patrick" <>
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 12:58:29 +1100
Today 15/11/98 at Centennial Park, Sydney, I saw some interesting behaviour
from three Dusky Moorhens.

They were building a nest on the water lillies with one bird (female?)
sitting on the nest placing pieces of reed around her. The two other birds
were gathering lilly leaves and stems plus twigs from nearby paperbark trees
which had fallen in the water. They would search up to 30 metres away. They
did not search together. When they found a piece they'd run across the top
of the lillies, wings aflutter, back to the sitter. She would take the
material from their beak and place it around her. On a few occassions both
gatherers were at the nest at the same time yet there was no fighting.

Has this been seen before? Is it unusual?

Some other birds seen:
500+ White Ibis  with chicks in and out of the nest
10 Long-billed Corellas preening in the paperbarks
1 Tawny Frogmouth sitting on nest, as it was three weeks ago. No sign of
chicks yet.
1 Musk Duck  male displaying (tail fanned, wings flapping under water and
piercing single very unduck-like note)
22 Greylag geese
3 Farmyard ducks with red warty skin around the eyes. These are not Mallards
(saw 8 of them) and I would like to know their name if you can help.

Andrew Patrick
Cumberland Bird Observers' Club

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